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Goodbye James Brown

2006-12-27 12:32
News24's coverage

He was a seminal force in the evolution of gospel and R&B into funk, and influenced many (if not all) other popular genres during his time in the limelight which began in the late 1950s with his band the Famous Flames, but continued through decades despite personal problems and setbacks.

Not content only with being famous, James Brown (though hardly a saint morally, and often arrested for domestic abuse) also campagned for the rights of the oppressed, particularly black Americans and the poor. If anyone "seemed so alive" right til the end, it was him. James Brown's (mostly self-bestowed) titles included: "Soul Brother Number One", "Mr. Dynamite", "the Hardest-Working Man in Show Business", "Minister of The New New Super Heavy Funk", "The Boss", "Mr. Please Please Please", and the "Godfather of Soul". He was renowned for his shouting vocals, feverish dancing and unique rhythmic style (but not his modesty).

James Brown's agent says the he died a little while after saying "I'm going away tonight". According to Wikipedia, "He then took three long, quiet breaths, and closed his eyes."

- Jean Barker
James Joseph Brown, Jr. AKA "The Godfather of Soul", died on Christmas day of complications related to pneumonia. The American entertainer is recognized as one of the most influential figures in 20th-century popular music.
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